The longer a person lives the more labels they acquire and the harder they are to get to know. My wife and I have been married for 37 years and we still find out new things about each other from time to time. Introducing me to total strangers on a web blog seems an insuperable task.
I was born in Iowa and grew up there in a very small town. While most people would have classified us as poor, I never gave much thought to our social status. Where and when I grew up people judged other people by who they were not how much they made. Looking back I guess the best thing about my childhood was belonging. We belonged to a family, a community, and a time. It was a time when a quarter’s worth of gasoline meant you have 5 cents left over for a candy bar. People did things for eachother and didn’t expect to get paid for the effort.
After leaving high school I started college on a scholarship but soon had to contend with the draft and ended up joining the U.S. Navy. The nine years I spent in the service provided higher education, a sense of personal and national responsibility and a perspective on life. Since that time I’ve traveled extensively and worked with many people in many walks of life. I’ve never been able to recapture the sense of teamwork and camaraderie I enjoyed during those nine years.
In my 57 plus years as a resident of planet earth I’ve traveled to every one of the contiguous 48 states, all but one continent, met with statesmen and every day folk, and eaten things I’d rather not admit to eating. I’ve found that in the entire world over, parents love their children and would sacrifice their all to protect them. In almost every case what comes through is that most people want to do what is right and it is the definition of right that causes the problems.
We humans live our lives in the main and always seem to argue in the margins. When I’m involved in complex negotiations I find it is always best to start with the points that can be agreed upon as a means of putting the disagreements into a perspective. In far too many instances the two sides are more interested in winning the argument than in finding a solution. It is one of the great tragedies of the spirit of competition. Sometimes it is better to acknowledge that life is not a game to be won but a journey to be completed.
One of my great passions in life is the time I spend with man’s greatest companion, or what some would say is man’s best friend. I’ve spent many hours searching for the lost people, sitting in a duck blind, and relaxing on the couch, each of these made more rewarding by their company. They have taught me how to communicate without speaking and value loyalty without expectation. We can learn much from our four legged canine friends especially when it comes to getting along.
There are few real treasures in life and finding them is truly a blessing. My greatest treasure is my wife’s love and my greatest joy is the pride we feel in our two lovely daughters. I count these women as my best friends and closest confidants. I can think of no security one can have which provides greater comfort than this.
So perhaps you can gain a little insight about me in this short introduction. I can only hope that I won’t be defined by my political beliefs or my bank account, which school I attended or what grades I received. My goal is not to change your mind, just open a window to mine.